Why should I learn German?
There can be many reasons for learning a new language: whether it’s improved employment prospects, following loved ones to another county, or even preparing for a (training) course in Germany. Here are some good reasons to learn German:
German as a economic language: get to know your business partners!
If you work with German-speaking business partners, German language skills definitely give you the competitive edge. A common language is not just a communication tool but the basis for mutual understanding, trust – and perhaps even friendship. In other words, if you want to climb the career ladder, not only do you need to know your field and your business partners, you also need to speak their language, literally!
German as an engine in a global world
Proficiency in German drastically increases your chances of getting a job in Germany or at a German company abroad. Your ability to build (linguistic) bridges will make you a valued team member among global players. And whether you want to work for a international company in Germany or a German company abroad, German skills will be an asset. Especially small and medium-sized German businesses who have set up offices elsewhere place a lot of value on good German language skills and familiarity with Germany’s culture, values and history. But also big corporations are following suit: it is not the case that these multinationals are only English-speaking environments.
German as a language of knowledge: many books are published in German
Everyone knows the important role English plays in universities throughout the world but did you know that German is recognised as the second most important academic language in the world? German-language publications can be an excellent source for enriching your knowledge and furthering your research. It’s also important to bear in mind how much Europeans value their various languages and customs. If you can participate on a linguistic or cultural levels, people will very much appreciate it. Did you know that 12% of all books published worldwide are in German? This strong publishing presence in Germany is another indicator of the opportunities German offers you as a research (and perhaps even publishing) language.
German as a language of culture: forming your ideas and fostering understanding
Learning German is a gateway to an important language of culture: Iiterature, science and politics; giving you an insight to its speakers’ plans, goals and dreams. Language and culture are closely intertwined and this interplay helps to form the way we think. Language has a major influence on our habits and customs, and how we formulate facts, contexts and reasons. This in turn influences our world view. If you’re already interested in Bach, Beethoven, Goethe or Kafka, then take the next logical step: get to know German people and their language too.